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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 7, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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06/07/12 06/07/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> [unintelligible] and shot point blank. about finding criminals. >> racial profiling in new york city. last year the police department stopped, frist, and interrogated people nearly 700,000 times, mostly black and latino men.
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the justice department is being asked to investigate. we will speak with jamel mims, a victim of stop and frisk, and the naacp's ben jealous. >> it is terrifying to see the richest person in the city, the mayor, a media titan, say we have to do this to make our cities safer. >> the new york police department has sued for spying on muslims across the northeast. >> i am not exaggerating when i am saying is bone chilling when you see the debt the nypd went to investigate people who were just worshipping and going about their daily lives. >> "5 broken cameras." and award winning documentary filmed by a palestinian man who got a video camera to record his son's growing up. he ended up documenting the resistance movement to the separation wall in the west bank village of bil'in.
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>> it takes a bullet three milliseconds to hit my camera. in that time, before the experience becomes a memory, everything i know vanishes. >> we will stick with the film's palestinian and israeli director. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. pro-government forces in syria are being accused of committing a new massacre with reports of more than 86 dead in the village in hama province. residences' during forces shelled the village before pro- government militants entered and killed dozens of civilians. the alleged attack comes less than two weeks after more than 100 civilians were reportedly killed in houla. the syrian government has denied the latest allegations and u.n. monitors say they're attempting
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to their -- verify the death toll. afghan officials and witnesses said the death toll from a u.s.- led nato bombing in logar province on wednesday included 18 civilians. the victims had reportedly gathered to celebrate a wedding when nato bombed the adjacent home, targeting alleged militants. at least five women and seven children were killed. six of the alleged militants were also killed. hours after the fatal attack, local villagers gathered to mourn the dead. >> nobody has been left alive. all are martyred. there were not taliban. they have not fought with anyone or attack anyone. >> we asked the government if it is not able to avoid americans to kill, then they should be kicked out of our country. >> at least 22 civilians were killed in a suicide bombing in kandahar, making wednesday the deadliest day for afghan civilians so far this year. last week, the u.n. reported
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afghan civilian deaths have declined in the year's first quarter for the first time since 2007. the alleged army whistleblower bradley manning appeared in court wednesday for the first day of a three-day pre-trial hearing. his attorneys are seeking the dismissal of 10 of the 22 counts against them related to his alleged leak of a massive trove of government material to the online whistle-blower wikileaks. manning's defense team says the counts are either unlawfully vague or fall short of amounting to a prosecutable offense. his trial is scheduled for september. a federal appeals court has ruled a provision of the 1996 defense of marriage act, which bars federal recognition of same-sex couples, is unconstitutional. the ruling came in the case of prominent lesbian activist edith windsor of new york, was forced to pay over $350,000 in estate taxes because her marriage was a recognized under federal law. spyer died in 2009.
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they married in canada in 2007 after 41 years as a couple. on wednesday, the court ruled a statute defining marriage as an act between a man and woman discriminated against gay couples by denying them federal benefits. it was the fourth time a federal court ruled doma unconstitutional. the ministration a florida gov. rick scott is vowing to continue a controversial purge of thousands of registered voters despite a justice department call for immediate halt. the justice department warned last week the voter purge appeared violating -- appear to violate federal voting rights laws. but in a harshly worded letter wednesday, florida secretary of state ken detzner defended the purge and said the federal government is illegally blocking florida's access to a citizenship database. a federal judge has finalized a ruling barring enforcement of a
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controversial statute that gave the government power to indefinitely detain anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. judge issued a preliminary injunction against a provision in the national defense authorization act last month, but the open the administration asked the judge to reconsider her ruling and also said it would merely interpret the injunction to apply only to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, a group of journalists, scholars, and political activists including noam chomsky and chris hedges. on wednesday, the judge said it applies broadly, not just to the plaintiffs. new data shows the obama administration is continuing to deport massive numbers of immigrants despite a review aimed at halting deportations for those with no criminal records and with family ties to the u.s. top officials have previously promised to close backlog deportation cases for immigrants
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with strong family connections. out of hundreds of thousands of deportation cases, fewer than 2% have been closed so far. the department homeland security as they have identified more than who are eligible to have their cases closed, that many cases have been stalled by the need for background checks. immigration advocates say families are still being unjustifiably separated. the israeli government has announced a new round of illegal settlement construction in the occupied west bank. on wednesday, israel said it plans to build more than 500 new housing units in various west bank settlements. speaking to lawmakers, benjamin netanyahu said no israeli administration has been friendlier to the settlement than his. >> there is no government that supports or will support settlements more than the government ivied -- i lead. there is no government that withstood such heavy pressures that could harm settlements. >> the new settlement building
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continues israel's stance of flouting a u.s.-backed pledge to stop west bank expansion in washington, state department spokesperson mark toner criticize the plan of israel. >> continued israeli settlement in the west bank undermines peace efforts and contradicts these are the commitments and obligations including the 2003 road map -- israeli commitments and obligations including the 2003 road map. >> a new study is warning the combined effects of global warming, publishing growth, and continued environmental degradation to lead to the collapse of the ecosystem in just a few generations. the research paper says the world faces "tipping point" of irreversible environmental damage as early as this century. the head of the u.n. environment program encouraged activists to seize on the report's findings
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ahead of the key three rio plus summit this month. >> active is preparing to come to the summit to protest and also lament the inaction that we have seen, to open up a second fund and take a report like this and say -- answer to the public. >> the supreme court has refused to hear a challenge to a case accusing four of protests with the private military firm blackwater of killing civilians in the 2007 massacre at baghdad's nissour square. an appeals court reinstated the case last year after a lower court dismissed it in 2009. the blackwater operative or charge for the deaths of 14 of the 17 iraqi civilians who died when the copper tips indiscriminately opened fire. a reporter for the chicago- based magazine has filed a lawsuit after he was prevented
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from questioning the ceo of the industrial giant honeywell. the reporter began asking about the gas leak and a honeywell plant in illinois when the microphone was seized from his hand. >> on may 14, there's a 7 and release of gas and it and qualified engineer working on the unit. [unintelligible] what i wanted to know is, is adequate -- >> sir, if i can interrupt, this is to hear from on to canoers. >> i was invited here and i want to ask. i am a member of the press. >> is lawsuit accuses honeywell official as well as a congressional staffer a false imprisonment and assault after allegedly held them against his will. the statement he said --
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the pentagon is replacing the commander of u.s. special operations in south korea after he was quoted claiming u.s. and south korean troops have been conducting spy missions in north korea. a japan based magazine called the diplomat reported that the commander, brigadier general neil tolley, had revealed that the soldiers had pressured into north korea to conduct "special reconnaissance" on underground military sites. the pentagon claims tolley was misquoted, denies the spying has taken place, and says his replacement as commander is unrelated. ray bradbury has died at the age of 91. he authored many works including "fahrenheit 451" which warned of book censorship in a future society. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
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dozens of new york lawmakers and several advocacy groups are convening on capitol hill today to call on the justice department to investigate the new york city police department's controversial stop and frisk policies. last year the new york police officers stopped and interrogated people nearly 686,000 times -- nine out of 10 ultimately were not arrested or ticketed. according to the new york civil liberties union, about 87% of those stopped or black or latino. there were more stops of young african-american men than the total population of that group in the city. since mayor michael bloomberg took office, the number of stop and frisks has increased by 600% according to the nyclu. while the city has defended the practice, opposition to stop and frisk is increasing. >> on tuesday, a coalition of a york city politicians, civil rights leaders, gay rights
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activists, and union representatives gathered at the historic stonewall inn in greenwich village to call police to halt its practice of stopping and interrogating people based on their identity. this is to become speaker christine quinn followed by kenneth upton of lambda legal. >> it is sending a message that our quest as new yorkers is to make this a city that is free and safe and and bracing for everyone. >> stop and frisk and racial profiling behind it is destroying the social fabric of this city. it must stop. >> to talk more about stop and frisk, we're joined by ben jealous, the president and ceo of the naacp. the naacp is helping to organize a silent march against racial profiling in new york city on father's day. we're also joined by jamel mims, an organizer of the stop mass incarceration network. he has been a victim of stop and frisk and arrested for
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nonviolently protesting the policy. we invited the new york police department to join us on the show, the received no response. ben jealous, talk about what is happening in washington today. many people coming down from new york, going to the justice department. >> folks will be here to me with the congressional black caucus in the meet with the holder and his staff. folks are here quite frankly because the needs to be a pattern of practice investigation into the cops. what is going on in the city is really wholesale racial profiling. we see 700,000 people stopped, 90% have done absolutely nothing wrong. of that 10% have done something wrong, most get a ticket one out
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of 1000 actually has a gun on them. 90% are people of color. the stops are so frequent, as you said, there are more stops of young black man than there are young black men in the entire city. this is the biggest, most aggressive racial profiling problem that we have in this country. it just has to be stopped. >> ben jealous, in terms of what you're hoping to get out of the members of congress, there are hearing scheduled for -- are using this as new york representing something, a trend anywhere else in the country? >> what is perhaps most disturbing is the city has said they need to do this. the mayor has said his cops need to do this to make the city safer. he is very proud of the fact they have brought down violent crime by 29% in the past 10
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years. what they are not telling you is the city, like los angeles, has brought down crime in the same time frame, brought down violent crime by 59% without this program. that dallas has done so by 49%. baltimore, by nearly 40%. racial profiling is a problem and happens from coast to coast, but not like this. you do not see big cities like this to in this old school, wholesale jack them up on the street racial profiling of young black folks in the same way in the biggest cities. other big cities like los angeles simply to be on the practice since rodney king. what is most disturbing is back in 99 -- 1999 when some of us went to jail in the shooting of mr. dyallo, there were many less
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stop and frisks. last year, there were almost 700,000. this year we are on pace for nearly 800,000 read it seems new york has gone in the absolute wrong direction. other big cities have done the reverse. as a result, new york has done less to stem a violent crime than its peers like los angeles, which has pushed down violent crime twice as far in the same time frame because they decided to use a tactic that builds walls. you have people who are in the most victimized communities in the city who have fear talking to the cops because the cops are one of the gangs that hurt them, one of the gangs that humiliate their children and leave them in
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fear. >> jamel mims, talk about the organizing in new york city and also what happened to you personally. >> ok. in new york city, and most recently, we have been in the midst of trials for being put on trial for crimes we committed as far as standing in front of the 20th precinct and officially being charged with blocking pedestrian traffic in the entrance to the precinct. but the reason this is important and should be brought out is part of the entire fight against stop and frisk. you see the climate around stop and frisk right now as politicians are lining up on the left and right to either defend or review the policy, or ultimately make small reforms the keep the policy intact. on october 21 when i joined cornell west in answering the call to meet the stop and frisk
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policies of resistance in manifesting nonviolent citizen disobedience, the purpose was to raise the level of resistance. we have seen there was a lot of exposure done around stop and frisk, but the missing element of mass resistance is what was missing. we kicked off the campaign october 21. last month, we were put through five days of trial and extremely, you know, extremely secure setting where there were two security checkpoints. this was the biggest political trial in decades since the chicago seven in 1979. it is part of raising the level of resistance to this policy. we're not talking about making reforms that the the policy intact. the situation of the freedom riders is analogous to this. when they were going down south and people were conducting
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sedans, they were not looking for more seats at the back of the bus or hours to visit, but to end an entire system of oppression and brutality by looking at one specific factor in generating resistance around it. we have to do that with stop and frisk. that is what we have been doing most recently. >> we invited the new york police the power to join us on the program, but did not get a response. new york city police commissioner defended stop and frisk when questioned by reporter >> i know it is a tactic police use. some are very hurt and upset when they're stopped unnecessarily. >> i understand that. i understand people may not be happy with it, but i can assure you i have gone into communities of color and people want more. it is not a universal opinion in
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many communities. we have had meetings with community groups, a lot of meetings, so it is nine -- reaction. >> jamel mims, your response? >> flat out, we're not telling with the situation where this policy keeps the police from doing their job. we're looking at a policy that fits into how the police broad decriminalize youth, looking at an emergency situation where you are marked guilty before proven guilty if they survive long enough to prove their innocence. with 2.4 million people behind bars, held and tortured-like conditions, when people get out they are discriminated for the rest of their lives. we have to look at stop and frisk as a pipeline.
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this really is not a process that keeps streets safer. it has no correlation to the rise or stop in crime rates and statistics have shown. we need to change the terms of the conversation. this is not about criminals. this is about a generation that has been targeted, brutalized by the police. >> ben jealous, earlier this week, new york gov. andrew cuomo announced a new legislation to decriminalize public possession of small amounts of marijuana, loring the penalty from a misdemeanor to a non criminal offense. misdemeanor marijuana arrests have skyrocketed in new york city in recent years largely because of stop and frisk. >> a young person has a small amount of marijuana in their pocket and that is a violation. that is a fine. police officers say turnout your pockets, and now it is a crime.
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who could defend against that? >> your response to the governor's proposal? >> look, he is doing the right thing. what has been happening in the city is because you have this intense focus on young black and brown people, they have been busted at a much higher rate for something which is, frankly, a very common part of life in this country. 75% of grown-ups in our country have smoked pot at least once. when you do 90% of your stop and frisks on people of color in your city, what happens is they get busted for what they have in their pockets much more frequently than white folks get busted by what they have in their pockets. the penalty for young person as a result going through for what many has become a rite of passage becomes much higher, and even read to people being kicked out of public housing, not being
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able to get student loans or student grants that are guaranteed by the government because they have a drug offense, not being able to get hired for a job. you talk to some of these young folks and they have been stopped 15 times. you have to wonder, someone is kandahar them for their first job and they pull up their rap sheet, which is very common now -- someone is going for their first job and they put their rap sheet, which is very, now, and they see someone has not been convicted of anything but has been stopped 15 time by the cops. what are you going to think of that person? they have repeatedly been victimized by people encouraged to do just that, to young people of color. it really has to stop. we have to get back.
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this is a city, by the way, which the last time books checked because the city does not always report homicides that's to the federal government as it should, in 2009, nyc was running about 10 percentage points below the national average for solving homicides. in the country you have a one in three chance of getting away with murder, but in new york city, almost a one in two chance. there are big jobs the cops could be doing if they were not throwing our young people against the wall over and over and over again. they to a half-million more stop and frisk than just five or six years ago. they could take those million hours and invested in solving murders and rapes and doing their jobs rather than building a wall between them and the people who, quite frankly, given the stance in our community, most urgently need them to do a
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good job. >> on wednesday, the aclu and build a free smartphone app that allows new yorkers to report stop and frisk in real time. it enables them to easily record video of police officers performing these stops, and send the clips to the nyclu. jamel mims i want to ask you how organizers are working again stop and frisk, but let's go first to the clip that shows how the app is used. >> an easy way to record and report nypd interactions with the public. all footage and reports will be sent immediately to the nyclu. there are three functions. record, listen, and report. record allows you to videotape an incident with audio concluded. shake your phone or manually press click to stop. as soon as filming in, you ultimately get a.
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servite. please, feel that out and share any pertinent information regarding the police information -- involvement use all. >> i do not have an android from. at the moment, i will not be using it. people have been engaging in this type of thing for a while. there have been different cop watch services where people reported the interactions with police either by funds or cameras. i would like to strike should -- stress this is a method where we can gather extreme amount of data and released or to characterize what is happening and put a face on what is happening. as far as a method and to of resistance and actually being able to overcome the situation we find ourselves in via this tool set, i want to stress his relationship in the analogy to
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the old jim crow and this being the new jim crow, and the prison by which we have to see resisting this and ask to be mad with mass resistance -- has to be met with mass resistance and changing the conversation in society. while this is a much needed thing and there are people doing this, the kind of critical leap happens with resistance. there are organizations, he take a case like oscar grant was killed in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses using their cameras. the critical step in what the people patrol do is actually intervening and stopping those assaults. >> you talk about stop and frisk as in the beginning of the pipeline to prison. in your own experience when you were stopped, he almost lost a fulbright scholarship as a result of this. explain what happened. >> this was a few months after a
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graduated the university of boston college. we had gone to a party in boston. we were down in the downtown district, coming out of this party after about 3:00 in the morning after the cops had broken it up. this is exactly the type of folk center in new york targeted by this policy every day. they start to corral us, and grab us. we see one of our friends being escorted with his hands behind his back, paraded down the street. another friend starts to take pictures of it. the cops immediately sees his camera, not wanting it to get out. they toss his camera to me and i grabbed it they then slam me to the ground but five of us were pulled out of the crown. -- five of us were put to the ground. i had to defend myself.
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by fulbright grant, which i got are received to study hip-hop in china, was threatened. this was an experience that you multiplied that experienced by 1900 times every day. that would give us a true picture of the severe weight of the human rights crisis. >> when you talk about the need for more mass resistance, specifically, other than the patrols, what do you mean? >> you look at a case like plessey vs. ferguson and brown vs. education. you see that change. they want that changed from segregation is a legal to legal. it is a public pressure. manifesting mass resistance and people coming out and casting off this stigma and shame of having gone to jail and those
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stories coming out, mass resistance with things like the patrols, with things like cop watch, and on the legal front, you know, as far as this class- action lawsuit challenged to stop and frisk -- but more generally, talking about an atmosphere of resistance where people see this as an intolerable offense. they see it happen every day and people are compelled to act and put their humanity on the line, to actually stop it. >> i want to ask ben jealous, the history of silent march is, the one that will be held on father's day with the naacp going back to 1917 with dubois leading a silent march against lynching, segregation, and other issues. and also if you could comment on the florida gov. rick scott vowing to continue the purge of thousands of registered voters, despite the this part -- justice
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department intervened. >> this country, sadly, in many ways is starting out the 21st century and a place that is too similar to how we started out the 20th century. when we started the 20th century, we were fighting against the old jim crow, racial segregation. with the 21st century, the confrontation of the new jim crow, which is the mass incarceration. a black man in this country right now is five times more likely to be incarcerated in a black man in south africa at the height of that country segregation, the 1980's, for instance. we're calling for the silent march like the 1917. then it was the settlers massacre. it was expressing the outrage of
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calling in and -- it was expressing outrage and calling iandend -- an end to the mistreatment, racial profiling across this country. trayvon martin's lawyer will be there, trayvon martin's father will be there. asking people to meet at fit and 110th street at 1:00, will stop off at 2:00. we want people when they see the march, whether it is in person or tv to think about what is going on. if you yell and scream, people think about what you're saying. but when you are silent, they're forced to focus on the
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massive social problem and really interrogate for themselves. the mayor has tried to convince people it makes them safer, and it really doesn't. and very profound ways. we've seen young men like ramallah grant killed as a result of these stop and frisks. in regards to gov. sky, the sky-- gov. scott, we of southern governors once again trying to steal our votes, trying to make it impossible for the people to choose who their president will be. the last time in florida -- this time they're finding out there's a federal law in the u.s. constitution that they're even willing to defy. when you pick southern governors seeking to defy the u.s. justice department to control the outcome of our country's
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politics, it is a very sad day. >> ben jealous, president and ceo of the naacp and jamel mims, working to end the practice of stop and frisk. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, the new york police department is being sued by muslims for being racially profiled. stay with us. ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> a group of eight american muslims from new jersey has filed a federal lawsuit calling on the new york police department to stop its fervor balance and intelligence gathering program that targets muslims -- stop its surveillance and intelligence gathering program that targets muslims. this is the executive director. >> it is the first direct legal
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challenge by victims of the nypd's discriminatory surveillance program, in fact, this lawsuit titled hudson et al vs. the city of new york, is perhaps the most important legal challenge to date brought by the american muslim community to protect their rights in our nation's founding values. >> under the controversial surveillance program, new york police officers monitor the daily life and muslims in new york and across the northeast, including more people ate, prayed, and even where they got their hair cut. a pulitzer prize-winning associated press investigation revealed the beginning in 2006, police infiltrated dozens of mosques and muslim student groups and investigated hundreds more imam deen shareef, whose mosque was under surveillance, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. >> we are muslims. we are americans. we go about our daily lives
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tried to establish the best kind of contribution we can make to american society. and for us to find out that we are under suspicion with respect to some criminal activity without any explanation as to what the provocation was, with the motivation is, what are the people they're looking for, it is very disturbing to find this out. and to find out the new york police department actually took photographs of our mothers, our children, and those individuals that come into our businesses has created an atmosphere where there is certainly an undue suspicion that has been cast upon the entire muslim community. >> in your place to park and has yet to respond to the lawsuit. last month, the new jersey attorney general determined nypd's activities there were the goal. the new york police commissioner raymond kelly said the surveillance is necessary. >> we are doing what we have to do pursuant to the law to protect the city, a city that
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has been attacked successfully twice and had 14 plots against it in the last two decades. >> for more we're joined by glenn katon, a legal director for muslim advocates. his organization by the federal lawsuit wednesday. talk about the significance of this suit and what you're doing. >> we think is tremendously significant because this is the first time american muslims have challenged a broad scale surveillance program. there has been a lot of persecution, discriminatory treatment of muslims in the post 9/11 era, but really the revelation of these nypd reports is the first time we have seen in such stark and disturbing detail exactly what one government entity is doing. so as those reports were revealed, people from the
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community were crying out that we have always sensed we were being treated differently, but this is akin to a smoking gun evidence that there is a really concerted and very sophisticated effort to target muslims based on their faith. >> in terms of your legal arguments, what constitutional violations are you alleging? >> we have three claims. the first is the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment read most people are familiar with that in the context of race discrimination, but applies to certain protected classes as well. when the nypd says basically all muslims are suspect, it seems clear to us that that violates the equal protection of the law. the other to get constitutional claims are based on religion clauses of the first amendment. there is the establishment clause, which says government cannot establish a religion.
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the most common application of that provision of the constitution is in the context of the government increasing or endorsing religion. the famous cases are like the crucifix and the national park or the christian version of the 10 commandments on the courthouse steps. the flip side is the government also cannot denigrate or disfavor a particular religion. so when the policy of the nypd is to treat all muslims as suspects of what is traditionally criminal investigation types of activities, that this favors the muslim faith. lastly, the free exercise clause of the first amendment. when the government targets religion in a way or particular religious faith in a way that interferes with people's ability to worship and practice their religion, that violates the free exercise clause.
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we most recently seen, tuesday, another nypd document was released that kind of has a spread sheet of the types of infiltration the nypd is carrying out annalists muslim student association, mosques, and as a check for to we have an informant there, doing an undercover officer there. so how can people pray, talk to their imam when the person next to the may be a cop? >> what about the police department, they say this is surveillance by not targeting or prosecuting, just gathering information? publicidea we're just in places observing what anyone else could observe is really a fallacy for two reasons. first of all, nobody wants to think they're being photographed as they go in and out of their place of worship. nobody wants to think people are
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watching them in their restaurant. it is an intrusion, even if it is in a public place. more importantly, you are still targeting people based on faith. if the policy was, we are going to go to catholic churches and photograph license plactes, go o thinkosher deli is, i understandably people would be up and arms. >> this is at your university. >> we have to keep this country safe. it is very cute to go and plant everybody and say we should stay away from anything that smacks of intelligence gathering. the job of our law enforcement is to make sure they prevent things, and you only do that by being proactive.
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you have to respect people's right to privacy and obey the law. i think the police officers across this country at the federal, state, and city level do that. but having said all of that, -- you are not going to survive. you will not be able to be a journalist and write what you want to say of the people who want to take away your freedoms are allowed to succeed. >> that is new york mayor bloomberg. who exactly are you representing, glenn katon, and your response to what mayor bloomberg said? what the police have an enormous responsibility to keep us all say. what we say is, you do so by watching people's behavior, not keep people safe by watching the religious practices, the color
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of people's skin. we are representing a wonderful group of very brave plaintiffs the really represent the full spectrum of muslims who were spied on. we have african-american imams, students that were spied on. . [no audio] >> yes, and a decorated soldier from iraq said i signed up to support and defend the constitution, only to come home and worry about pictures of me taking my mother to the mosque that could jeopardize my security clearance. this has a very profound stigma in the abstract sense, but in a very practical sense and how people live their lives. >> glenn katon, thank you for being with us, just on a lawsuit policeng the new york
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a promise stop its surveillance of mosques, businesses, college campuses and other gathering spots in new york we will be talking to the israeli- palestinian filmmakers of a new documentary called "5 broken cameras." ♪ [music break] ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> we turn now to a prize- winning new film that tells the story the palestinian farmer who lives with his wife and four small children in the village of bil'in, the central west bank. it is called, "5 broken cameras." emad burnat got his first camera in 2005 when his and his son jibril was born. almost simultaneously, the israeli army began building a separation wall between bil'in and a nearby israeli settlement, separating residents from the olive tree groves that are their livelihood. this is a clip from the documentary, narrated by emad burnat.
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>> emad burnat, narrating an excerpt from his do documentary, "5 broken cameras." emad burnat teamed up with his co-director, israeli film director guy davidi, to document the non-violent tactics residents of bil'in use as they join with international and israeli activists to protest the separation wall and confront israeli soldiers. during the course of the film, one camera after another is smashed or shot.
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>> another excerpt from "5 broken cameras." with the camera, a part of emad burnat's story unfolds. emad burnat joins us and our studio along with his partner in the film and co-director, israeli filmmaker guy davidi.
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there documentary has won awards of the sundance and idfa, amsterdam's famed documentary festival, and is in theaters now. here in new york city, it is planned at the film forum through june 12. we welcome you both to "democracy now!" emad burnat your five cameras were all destroyed by israeli soldiers or settlers. talk about why you got your first camera in 2005. >> i got my first camera before my son was born. but the same time, people in my village decided to resist and protest against the construction. my son was born and i was filming gibreel. i was documenting the demonstration and non, protesting outside against the construction -- non-violent protesting outside the
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construction. >> in this continued for four years? >> yes, it has continued every friday until now. >> how have the villagers been able to maintain that link that time and continuing protesting, despite the resistance by the settlers and the army? >> in the beginning, nobody realized the struggle or resistance would keep so long. but the people have lost their land. they decided to keep resisting [unintelligible] >> this is an excerpt from the beginning of "5 broken cameras."
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>> an excerpt of "5 broken cameras." guy davidi, you are israeli citizen. how did you link up with emad burnat? how did you come to bil'in? >> i was an activist in 2003 with indy media.
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i was going to different villages to participate in nonviolent movement and film that. into the house and five in the movement started in bil'in, i just when they're out of curiosity. i was impressed by the hospitality of the people, so i wanted to stay there. i started making a feature film in the village and i stayed in the village for a few months. it was a very important experience. it taught me to work with emad burnat to create the film later on. >> and the reaction of the settlers in the area and the army to your participation? >> there was a big buildup. there were more and more israelis. at one point, it was difficult for them to prevent us from going to the demonstrations. in the beginning, they would follow us and try to block us or arrest us on the way.
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when it got bigger, it became much more easy for us to go into the village. >> one of the neat things about your film, it tells the story of the struggle against the israeli security wall from the perspective of the residents of bil'in. this is your friend adeeb abu rahmah who is confronting israeli soldiers.
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>> adeeb abu rahmah hugs and olive tree at the end of that clip. if you could talk about a deep, his role in the protests, and what happened to him. >> a deep is my close friend. when we were a child, he was my friend. we grow up and know each other. we live in the same area and same village in same neighborhood. we were together in the protest. he was protesting and i was filming. so i was always focusing to what
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he was doing. he was very courageous. he never accepted the violence or the soldiers or what the region against the land, confiscating the land and a string the -- destroying the trees. he lost his land and was very angry. >> he was arrested? >> yes, he was arrested. he has been in jail about 18 months. he had been shot many times. >> and the impact of this on your children and wife, being characters in this film? >> i was coming outside the demonstrations, and the night when they came to arrest someone. at the same time, i was documenting and filming my son
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gibreel and what was going on outside. the idea was to make it personal, not political. >> that is its power, it is so personal. you see your little boy gibreel, 1, 2, 3, celebrating his birthdays and things socialized as he is dealing with these confrontations with the israeli soldiers and their cameras being broken one by one. >> gibreel was connected to me and close to me always. he wants to go with me wherever i go. even when i go to the protest or to the wall or the sediments. >> thank you both for being with us. we will put part 2 on democracynow.org. emad burnat and guy davidi, their film is, "5 broken cameras." [captioning made possible by
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